Rackspace OpenStack-Based Private Cloud Software Available for Free

Rackspace released its new Rackspace Private Cloud Software as a free download.

Rackspace has announced the release of Rackspace Private Cloud Software, powered by OpenStack and code-named Alamo.

The new offering is designed to make it easy for organizations to install, test and run a multi-node OpenStack-based private cloud environment. The software, which uses the same OpenStack compute platform, Nova, that runs Rackspace clouds, is available as a free download from the Rackspace Website.

Rackspace officials said the software is based on the company's experience in deploying and operating OpenStack-based public and private clouds in a variety of environments, including in Rackspace's own data centers as well as in external data centers. The Rackspace Private Cloud is backed by an optional support offering.

"We believe that the majority of our customers and cloud users will be running hybrid cloud environments for a long time," Jim Curry, general manager of the private cloud business at Rackspace, said in a statement. "Today's announcement allows businesses to utilize their existing investment in their own data center resources to run an open cloud solution for additional control and customization and also take advantage of Rackspace's data center options."

The Rackspace Private Cloud Software combines the capabilities of public cloud with the customization, reliability and control advantages of a dedicated environment. Customers now have a simple way to install an OpenStack-based private cloud in their own data center, at Rackspace, or in a co-location facility.

"CloudTP clients have long been asking for an easy-to-install, fully supported version of OpenStack, and Rackspace has more than delivered with Rackspace Private Cloud Software," Ken Pepple, vice president of OpenStack Solutions at Cloud Technology Partners, said in a statement. "We expect Rackspace Private Cloud Software to rapidly accelerate the adoption of OpenStack with our enterprise customers."

Based on customer feedback, Rackspace selected a proven configuration, which initially includes Ubuntu 12.04 Long-Term Support (LTS) host operating system and Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor. It is open-source OpenStack Essex with Compute, Images, Authentication and Dashboard, Rackspace said. The company is working with partners like Red Hat and others to offer customers a choice of host operating systems and OpenStack distributions in the future.

"Red Hat applauds Rackspace's efforts to help enable wider usage of OpenStack," Brian Stevens, CTO and vice president of worldwide engineering at Red Hat, said in a statement. "Combined with our announcement of the availability of a preview release of Red Hat's OpenStack distribution earlier this week, we see great potential in ongoing collaboration with Rackspace to deliver open hybrid clouds to our enterprise customers."

To download the software, users can go here and run a simple installer to deploy OpenStack components and configuration for private clouds. Organizations running the software can use free support forums or can purchase Escalation Support services from Rackspace. Escalation Support includes 24x7x365 ticket and phone support for Rackspace Private Cloud powered by OpenStack from the experts at Rackspace.

"Since the founding of OpenStack, we have had requests from the marketplace and our customers for a private cloud software offering based on OpenStack that makes it easy to get up and running," Lew Moorman, president of Rackspace, said in a statement. "We are making that solution available through Rackspace's Private Cloud Software allowing organizations of any size to take advantage of open cloud technology that conforms 100 percent to the open-source code base. Rackspace is making it easy for every IT decision maker, IT pro and system administrator to install, test and run OpenStack clouds anywhere within minutes-you don't need to be an OpenStack expert. This is built, packaged and tested by the OpenStack experts at Rackspace, providing customers access to a proven configuration and to Rackspace's expert Fanatical Support team."

"I'm very impressed with the Rackspace Private Cloud Software as it directly addresses the concern of OpenStack being hard to install and configure," Kevin Jackson, infrastructure architect and author of "OpenStack Cloud Computing Cookbook," said in a statement. "The installation is very robust and intuitive and requires very few parameters to produce a usable OpenStack environment."

Meanwhile, also in a statement, Jesse Robbins, chief community officer at Opscode, said, "The release of Rackspace Private Cloud Software with Opscode Chef included is a result of the great collaboration between Opscode and Rackspace and a testament to the benefits Chef provides for deploying and managing OpenStack-powered clouds."

The new software is the latest addition to the Rackspace Private Cloud suite along with OpenStack Training and Support services.